Seasonal and smart: smoked salmon starters

A terrine with smoked salmon, avocado and crab that you can prepare ahead, and a recipe for hot smoking salmon at home. Photographs: Harry Weir

 

VANESSA’S WAY: SMOKED SALMON TERRINE WITH AVOCADO AND CRAB

We’re barbecue crazy in our house and our most recent party piece is hot smoking salmon, which has been a winning dish when entertaining over the past year. But Gary has nabbed that technique this week, so I will stick with cold smoked salmon, which most of us will have in the fridge over the coming weeks.

For anyone interested in the smoking process, head to the Wild Atlantic Way to visit the Burren Smokehouse visitor centre, which is open all year round.

The taste and texture of their cold smoked organic salmon is really special, and they also smoke with a selection of innovative flavours including seaweed, whiskey and fennel.

Smoked salmon with brown bread often needs a good twist of lemon and black pepper. Or fall in love with it again with this elegant starter containing avocado and crab. It has a lot going for it as it can be fully prepped a day in advance.

GARY’S WAY; HOT SMOKED SALMON WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA

Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of cold smoked salmon, and if you’re anything like me, once you hot smoke your own and master the technique, you’ll never look back.

Putting a little more effort into cooking always reaps greater rewards. I never like to sound condescending by saying something is really simple to do. Hanging pictures may be simple to one man, but chances are I’d drill through an electrical cable. So one man’s simple is another’s nightmare. But I promise to take the fear out of smoking your own salmon here and before long, you will be calling it a simple task.

The key to this dish is the 24 hour cure/seasoning. It does two things. It tightens the salmon, so you have a firmer piece when it comes to smoking, and it fuses a beautiful seasoning right into the flesh. Remember, when it comes to cooking, taste is everything.

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